Teen Art Projects Made From Recycled Materials Bring Environmental Awareness to Public Sound Art Exhibit

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Chimes for Change, a project of RuckusRoots, will showcase wind chimes made by Southern California high school students at Sound Walk 2013 on October 5th in Long Beach, CA.

Ultimately, the project explores the vital role that art can play in guiding citizens towards more sustainable lifestyles.

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RuckusRoots, a Los Angeles 501(c)(3) organization, is helping students at Loyola High School bridge community, art and environmental activism with wind chimes. Students are creating the wind chimes out of only recycled and found materials, exploring themes that impact them and their communities. Ultimately, the project explores the vital role that art can play in guiding citizens towards more sustainable lifestyles.

“The students are thinking about what sustainability means to them personally,” said Christine Spehar, Director of RuckusRoots. “One student is exploring sustainable building practices by using materials from the remodel of his home including scrap wood, pieces of glass and air conditioner tubing. Another student is creating something more personal—he’s collecting metals from his home like silver ware, CDs and keys and sculpting them into a heart shape to honor his mom who is fighting cancer.”

A common theme among the students is exploring fossil fuel use, recycling, and over-reliance on plastics by collecting and cutting up plastic bottles. Once the wind chimes are completed, the students at Loyola will record the sounds of the chimes, creating experimental digital music compositions with the recordings.

The project, called Chimes for Change, is the creative genesis of Spehar, James Peterson, a Los Angeles-based visual artist, and Stephen Speciale, a sound and music teacher at Loyola High School. Peterson is helping the students with building their chimes.

Speciale, whose students in his Music Appreciation and Sound Art classes are building chimes, will lead the students through the process of recording the chimes and creating digital music utilizing Yellofier, a mobile application.

“Few of these kids consider themselves musicians because they don’t play an instrument,” said Speciale. “A program like Yellofier with its intuitive interface allows students to record sounds, and manipulate and arrange them into music without an instrument. It is a great way to show the students what they are artistically capable of through methods already familiar to them.”

The chimes created by the students in Speciale’s classes plus the digital music compositions the students create, will be on display at Sound Walk 2013, one of the country’s largest sound art exhibitions, in Long Beach, CA on October 5, 2013. Each chime will feature a QR code, which viewers can scan to download the teen’s song, and use as a ring tone if desired.

Chimes for Change organizers don’t plan on the project ending here. As Peterson says, they plan on opening this project not only to other schools and organizations in the LA area, but also nationwide:

“I hope to see this program grow into a local, then statewide, then national, then global effort to connect young creative minds and bring them together on a common goal,” says Peterson. “Ultimately the program could not only help students from different cultures to see the similarities in each other, but also to become a think tank to presenting solutions.”

To learn more about Chimes for Change, visit http://www.ruckusroots.org. To view the wind chimes and listen to Loyola High School students’ music compositions, come to Sound Walk in Long Beach on October 5, 2013. More info at http://soundwalk.org/soundwalk-2013.html.

About RuckusRoots:

Ruckus Roots is a Los Angeles based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that engages kids and teens in artistic opportunities that connect them to their community, the planet and their artistic powers. We believe the arts are uniquely capable of inspiring the collaboration and creative thinking crucial for effectively addressing complex social and environmental issues. Uniting art and activism to form “artivism,” we give young people a creative voice in the eco-activism community through interactive art and music programs. Learn more at http://www.ruckusroots.org. Sound Walk.

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Christine Spehar
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